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q reaction + q solution = 0

This means that the amount of heat produced or consumed in the reaction equals the amount of heat absorbed or lost by the solution:

q reaction = q solution

This concept lies at the heart of all calorimetry problems and calculations.

Heat produced by an exothermic reaction

When 50.0 mL of 0.10 M HCl( aq ) and 50.0 mL of 0.10 M NaOH( aq ), both at 22.0 °C, are added to a coffee cup calorimeter, the temperature of the mixture reaches a maximum of 28.9 °C. What is the approximate amount of heat produced by this reaction?

HCl ( a q ) + NaOH ( a q ) NaCl ( a q ) + H 2 O ( l )


To visualize what is going on, imagine that you could combine the two solutions so quickly that no reaction took place while they mixed; then after mixing, the reaction took place. At the instant of mixing, you have 100.0 mL of a mixture of HCl and NaOH at 22.0 °C. The HCl and NaOH then react until the solution temperature reaches 28.9 °C.

The heat given off by the reaction is equal to that taken in by the solution. Therefore:

q reaction = q solution

(It is important to remember that this relationship only holds if the calorimeter does not absorb any heat from the reaction, and there is no heat exchange between the calorimeter and its surroundings.)

Next, we know that the heat absorbed by the solution depends on its specific heat, mass, and temperature change:

q solution = ( c × m × Δ T ) solution

To proceed with this calculation, we need to make a few more reasonable assumptions or approximations. Since the solution is aqueous, we can proceed as if it were water in terms of its specific heat and mass values. The density of water is approximately 1.0 g/mL, so 100.0 mL has a mass of about 1.0 × 10 2 g (two significant figures). The specific heat of water is approximately 4.18 J/g °C, so we use that for the specific heat of the solution. Substituting these values gives:

q solution = ( 4.184 J/g °C ) ( 1.0 × 10 2 g ) ( 28.9 °C 22.0 °C ) = 2.89 × 10 3 J

Finally, since we are trying to find the heat of the reaction, we have:

q reaction = q solution = −2.89 × 10 3 J

The negative sign indicates that the reaction is exothermic. It produces 2.89 kJ of heat.

Check your learning

When 100 mL of 0.200 M NaCl( aq ) and 100 mL of 0.200 M AgNO 3 ( aq ), both at 21.9 °C, are mixed in a coffee cup calorimeter, the temperature increases to 23.5 °C as solid AgCl forms. How much heat is produced by this precipitation reaction? What assumptions did you make to determine your value?


1.34 × 10 3 J; assume no heat is absorbed by the calorimeter, no heat is exchanged between the calorimeter and its surroundings, and that the specific heat and mass of the solution are the same as those for water

Thermochemistry of hand warmers

When working or playing outdoors on a cold day, you might use a hand warmer to warm your hands ( [link] ). A common reusable hand warmer contains a supersaturated solution of NaC 2 H 3 O 2 (sodium acetate) and a metal disc. Bending the disk creates nucleation sites around which the metastable NaC 2 H 3 O 2 quickly crystallizes (a later chapter on solutions will investigate saturation and supersaturation in more detail).

The process NaC 2 H 3 O 2 ( a q ) NaC 2 H 3 O 2 ( s ) is exothermic, and the heat produced by this process is absorbed by your hands, thereby warming them (at least for a while). If the hand warmer is reheated, the NaC 2 H 3 O 2 redissolves and can be reused.

A series of three photos is shown. There are two right-facing arrows connecting one photo to the next. The first photo shows a chemical hand warmer. It is a bag that contains a clear, colorless liquid. There is a white disk located to the right inside the bag. The second photo shows the same thing, except the white disc has become a white, cloudy substance. The third photo shows the entire bag filled with this white substance.
Chemical hand warmers produce heat that warms your hand on a cold day. In this one, you can see the metal disc that initiates the exothermic precipitation reaction. (credit: modification of work by Science Buddies TV/YouTube)

Another common hand warmer produces heat when it is ripped open, exposing iron and water in the hand warmer to oxygen in the air. One simplified version of this exothermic reaction is 2 Fe ( s ) + 3 2 O 2 ( g ) Fe 2 O 3 ( s ) . Salt in the hand warmer catalyzes the reaction, so it produces heat more rapidly; cellulose, vermiculite, and activated carbon help distribute the heat evenly. Other types of hand warmers use lighter fluid (a platinum catalyst helps lighter fluid oxidize exothermically), charcoal (charcoal oxidizes in a special case), or electrical units that produce heat by passing an electrical current from a battery through resistive wires.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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how do you find theWhat are the wavelengths and energies per photon of two lines
caroline Reply
The eyes of some reptiles are sensitive to 850 nm light. If the minimum energy to trigger the receptor at this wavelength is 3.15 x 10-14 J, what is the minimum number of 850 nm photons that must hit the receptor in order for it to be triggered?
razzyd Reply
A teaspoon of the carbohydrate sucrose contains 16 calories, what is the mass of one teaspoo of sucrose if the average number of calories for carbohydrate is 4.1 calories/g?
ifunanya Reply
4. On the basis of dipole moments and/or hydrogen bonding, explain in a qualitative way the differences in the boiling points of acetone (56.2 °C) and 1-propanol (97.4 °C), which have similar molar masses
Kyndall Reply
Calculate the bond order for an ion with this configuration: (?2s)2(??2s)2(?2px)2(?2py,?2pz)4(??2py,??2pz)3
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Which of the following will increase the percent of HF that is converted to the fluoride ion in water? (a) addition of NaOH (b) addition of HCl (c) addition of NaF
Tarun Reply
Practice Key Terms 6

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Source:  OpenStax, Ut austin - principles of chemistry. OpenStax CNX. Mar 31, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11830/1.13
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